The direct impact of chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C on neurocognition remains elusive due to the frequent comorbidities, and the domains of the neurocognitive functions affected have rarely been investigated comprehensively. We cross-sectionally assessed the neurocognitive functions of the individuals with chronic hepatitis B, chronic hepatitis C, treated chronic hepatitis C with a sustained virologic response, and their healthy control counterparts. Laboratory examinations were used to investigate the impact of inflammation on neurocognition, exclude the medical conditions that could interfere with neurocognition assessment, and assess liver function and fibrotic severity of the liver of the participants. This study found the detrimental impact of chronic hepatitis B on language and executive functions. In contrast, individuals with chronic hepatitis C showed deficits in executive functions, psychomotor speed, memory, and attention. Successful elimination of hepatitis C resulted in improved liver function, but not neuropsychological test performance. Moreover, erythrocyte sedimentation rate level was found to mediate the deficits in the attention of individuals with chronic hepatitis C. These results demonstrate the neurocognitive deficits and the difference in the profiles of neurocognitive deficits in individuals with chronic hepatitis B and chronic hepatitis C. Our study also provided results suggesting the mediation by systemic inflammation on the attention deficit in individuals with chronic hepatitis C.
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